HONOR X7b Review

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HONOR X7b (15)

Contents (maximize to view)

8.5Expert Score
Good

Great battery life, decent cameras. They could’ve chosen a better chip though.

Design and Build Quality
9
Performance
7.5
Camera
8
Software
8
Battery
10
Price
8.5
Positive
  • Premium looking design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Decent camera performance
Negatives
  • Runs on an old chip
  • UI needs a makeover

Introduction

HONOR continues to expand its portfolio of smartphones in the Philippines with the newest addition to its X-Series lineup, HONOR X7b. This device slots in at the budget-end of the segment, but still offers several tricks up its sleeve, including a 6,000mAh battery, and a 108MP camera, all at an accessible price point of PHP 8,999.

Design and Build Quality

The HONOR X7b sports a sleek and modern design with a 3D Backplane Quad-Curved aesthetic that makes it comfortable to hold despite its sizeable 6.8-inch display. Its rear panel reacts differently, showing an array of colors depending on where the light is coming from. It’s a remarkably lightweight and slim device given its large battery capacity.

The device uses flat sides in matte finish, which makes them less prone to fingerprints.

HONOR X7b (12)

You also get a dual speaker system, a headphone jack, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a flat display, which is a breath of fresh air.

HONOR X7b (28)

Speaking of the display, the HONOR X7b boasts a 6.8-inch FHD+ Hyper-Transmissive Display with a 91.3% screen-to-body ratio and a 90Hz refresh rate. It works okay for media consumption, but it’s a standard LCD, so don’t expect AMOLED-level blacks and colors.

You get smooth animations/transitions when scrolling through the homepage, menus, and supported apps. Yes, there are other devices that offer higher refresh rates at almost a similar price point, so it’s a bit odd as to why they opted for less.

HONOR has paid special attention to eye comfort with the X7b, incorporating features like TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification, Dynamic Dimming, Circadian Night Display, and Eye Comfort Mode. All these work together to reduce eye strain and fatigue, making the device more ideal for those extended sessions of media consumption.

Camera

The HONOR X7b has a 108MP main camera with support for 9-in-1 pixel binning. This allows it to capture bright and vivid shots even in low-light conditions, ensuring that night colors are faithfully reproduced, or at least that’s what they claim. There’s also an 8MP ultra-wide unit, and a 2MP macro lens.

Shots from the main camera look sharp, with good amounts of detail. Color reproduction is also spot on, for most of the time. Night shots aren’t as detailed and sharp but are still decent considering the price.

Shots from the ultrawide camera can sometimes look pale compared to the main camera, and while usable, it’s not exactly ideal for low light. Detail is okay at best, and there’s a lot of smudging. In terms of video, the main, ultra-wide, and front cameras max out at 1080p 30fps.

Performance

The HONOR X7b is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, which is a decent upgrade from the HONOR X7a’s Helio G37, but at least on paper, is less powerful than say, a Helio G99, which is found in a lot of other devices in this price range. It’s pretty evident that HONOR isn’t focusing on performance for this phone.

That being said, if you plan to play Farlight 84 or Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, this phone will handle those games with no major issues. The latter will even run on Super + Ultra setting with no issues.

On the other hand, as expected, the device struggles with Diablo Immortal, which is playable but you’ll have to dial down the settings to the lowest. Same case with Honkai: Star Rail.

The device did get a bit warm during my test, not to the point that it was uncomfortable.

Battery

One of the HONOR X7b’s standout features is its 6,000mAh battery. HONOR claims that this can provide up to 18 hours of video streaming, 24 hours of social media browsing, or even 69 hours of music streaming on a single charge.

On PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, which simulates tasks like basic video and photo editing, web browsing, and data manipulation, the device scored an impressive 15 hours and 42 minutes. On recharging, it’s about an hour and a half from around 18% to full, and that’s with 35W SuperCharge.

Audio

HONOR has put thought into the audio experience on the X7b, with a sound field expansion algorithm and scene-based audio optimization. This results in improved bass, clearer vocal dialogue, and enhanced sound field positioning. Obviously, it won’t compete with some flagships, but again, it’s good for the price.

The device also has an Extra Volume Mode, letting you to boost the volume above the default maximum level for crystal-clear conversations and to party louder. Fortunately, there’s no audible distortion even at max volume.

Software

The HONOR X7b runs on the latest MagicOS 7.2 based on Android 13. As usual you get features like Split Screen and Multi-Window, which help in both media consumption and productivity. There’s only a minimal amount of pre-loaded apps.

Again, as clean as this UI is, it really feels like it needs a revamp in some areas, such as quality of life things. For example, not having to go through the settings menu to change your resolution and fps when using the camera app.

HONOR X7b Verdict

If you want a phone that looks good, has decent cameras and excellent battery life, and for less than PHP 10,000, the HONOR X7b should be somewhere in the upper part of your list. On the other hand, it won’t win a contest in terms of performance, and it’s running a chip that’s getting a bit old, but again, if you’re only going to play MLBB or Farlight 84, then this should be enough. Anything more than those, go look somewhere else.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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